Artist Trading Card Swap 11: Sign up time

I have been struggling to squeeze organizing swaps into my schedule this year, but I am missing them so much and regular ATC swappers have been asking, so we are DOING THIS!

ATC swift
My latest ATC – It’s called ‘We’re all leaving’ and is inspired by migrating birds

What’s an Artist Trading Card?

If you are new to ATCs, here’s what you need to know:

ATC guide

Making an ATC is a way to be creative on a small scale, try out new techniques and skills in a non-threatening way.  All you need to remember for this particular ATC swap is that it is a TEXTILE ATC swap:

  • the card needs to be mostly fabric
  • there must be a little bit of stitching involved. 
  • the card must not be too thick – no more than 1/8″ (3-4mm) please
  • you must put your name and date on the back of the card (plus title and email address if you like)

If you’re still a bit unsure of what all that means – why not check out the the Very Berry ATC swap group on Flickr, where you can see photos of cards made for previous swaps?

The Theme

The theme this time round is ‘Small Things’. You can interpret this however you like. It’s fine to be literal or you can just dwell on what the words conjure up for you and go all metaphorical. It’s all fine with an ATC.

Serious bit: Before signing up, please think for a minute whether you can put aside enough time to make something lovely and thoughtful for your swap partner, and whether you will be able to meet the deadlines. People who drop out of contact with me and don’t make deadlines without a good reason will be blacklisted from future swaps – I’m really sorry to have to do that, but I have to spend a lot of time chasing people up, and it’s not fair on other swappers.

The Dates, Rules and Other Info

  • You will make 1 ATC and receive 1 ATC in return.
  • It will be a secret swap (you will not be sending to the person you receive your card from) so please don’t let your partner know who you are!
  • Your card must be the right size and fit the theme, be named and dated on the reverse of the card.
  • You can sign up for the swap by completing this Google form by midnight on Sunday 8th October. Partners will be assigned by the end of Monday 9th October.
  • Participation is open to anyone anywhere in the world (the ATCs won’t be too pricey to send), so please be prepared to send overseas if you join in (but I will *try* to make exceptions… just let me know on the form).
  • Cards must be posted during the week 4-8 December 2017 (or a little earlier if you are posting overseas and you can manage it).
  • Please do not include anything else in your parcel, except a friendly note or card.
  • Once you have received your ATC, you must get in touch with your partner to say thanks.
  • Please keep in touch with me by email and let me know when you have posted and received your ATC.
  • Although Flickr doesn’t seem the image sharing platform of choice any more, please think about loading photos of ATC to the Flickr group, I’d love to keep that going.
  • If you blog, use FB, Twitter or Instagram, please feel free to share your ATC swap progress, and definitely share pictures of the ATC you receive from your swap partner, if you can. Please use #veryberryatcswap to tag your posts.

Looking forward to seeing all your lovely creativity!

Supporting Very Berry Handmade

Now for the serious bit… I have decided to stop taking sponsorship on my blog so that I have more freedom to write what and when and how often I like. I pay a fee to keep the blog advert free. I also spend a lot of time managing the swap, assigning partners and making sure everyone gets an ATC (I estimate at least 12 hours per swap). If you would like to make a small donation to help support my blogging and swap administration, I’d be very grateful. It would also mean I could run more ATC swaps and mini-hoop swaps too. Thanks – and thanks to the generous people who have already donated, can’t tell you how much it means to me.

Make a donation

If you’d like to support me and my work providing free tutorials here at Very Berry – please do feel free to make a donation! It's set for £1, but you can increase the numbers of ££ in the little box, if you are feeling generous. I really appreciate all your support - thank you!

£1.00

Introducing my new sewing studio

Earlier in the summer I had the opportunity to move from my lovely studio 27 at ACAVA Studios: Spode Works to a bigger space (2.5 times as big!) in the same Studio complex. Although it’s a scary prospect (2.5 times bigger means 2.5 times the rent!) I feel increasingly sure that I want to focus on teaching, so it makes sense to me to have a space where people can come and learn with me in my studio.

I am very gradually settling in, and I’m not done yet, I need a few more bits of storage, another table and some chairs for starters, but it is increasingly beginning to feel like home, so I thought I’d share some photos of the work in progress. First up on my wall were my selvedge mini-quilts, made for Love Patchwork and Quilting about 18 months ago. I am so glad I decided to keep these!

Mini quilts on the wall in my studio at Spode

I was also glad to get all my ATCs and mini-hoops into position on the window sills. I have two lovely large windows, but I don’t get the sun until the late afternoon, which is so much better for sewing and photography purposes! My old studio used to get uncomfortably warm on sunny days.

The window sill at Studio 5 Spode Works

This is my main sewing area. The windows are quite high, so fortunately I can’t get too distracted by what’s going on outside.

My work space at Studio 5 Spode Works

My succulents are doing well in their new home – and I am gradually acquiring vintage Spode china to put them in. This pattern is one of my favourites – Chinese Rose:

Succulent in Spode china cup and saucer

This is my favourite corner of the studio. I am on the look out for a nice comfy armchair to put next to the lamp for those times when I am sewing binding or doing a bit of English paper piecing. It’s great to have a finished quilt on the wall too!

Favourite corner of Studio 5 at ACAVA studios Spode Works

Here’s a view from the ironing board of the entire space:

Studio 5 the home of Very Berry Handmade at Spode Works

Lovely isn’t it! I’m very lucky I know. No doubt I will be sharing more photos as time goes on – I love to rearrange furniture until I have everything just right. And if you fancy a day at the studio, I am planning stitchy retreats and small class teaching in the studio – do get in touch if you might be interested.

Using colour palettes for mini-patchwork

I wanted to share my latest piece of miniature patchwork hoop art with you. It’s a 3 inch embroidery hoop with a 1.5 inch flying geese patchwork block. The geese are 3/8 inch high and are foundation pieced (SO much easier for miniature patchwork). I’ve added a border of yarn-dyed Essex linen to finish the project.

Mini patchwork flying geese hoop art inspired by 100 days of curated colour

I am working on lots of these hoops at the moment. Firstly because I love making them, secondly because I have been commissioned to make some by a friend, and thirdly because I hope to sell some in the retail space at the newly refurbished Spode Heritage Centre – my studio is also located on the Spode Works site, and I am so proud to be there, I would be blown away to be able to have stock in their shop!

I’ve been using the colour palettes I’ve been putting together for my #100daysofcuratedcolour project on Instagram for inspiration. This particular hoop was inspired by Day 57/100:

Color curated moodboard by Very Berry for #the100dayproject - 57/100 green pink peach lilac

This is the original image on Design Seeds that I used to put the palette together in the first place. I hope you can see the connections!

I’ve used tiny pieces of fabric from my vast quantity of Liberty lawn scraps, that take up (can you believe) an entire 6-drawer Trofast unit from Ikea! When faced with a scrap mountain of this size, having the colour palette photos to work with is a huge advantage, because it gives me somewhere to start, instead of randomly rummages around in the piles of scraps. For an easily-overwhelmed stitcher, it’s such a bonus to have them.

You can find (almost) all of the colour palettes I’ve made so far over on Pinterest, or through my Instagram tag #100daysofcuratedcolour – if you’d like to see more, and maybe use them to inspire your own work.

The cute little 3 inch hoops are available from my lovely sponsors Cloud Craft, who also sell the amazing Snipster scissors pictured too. Do support my writing here at Very Berry by visiting my sponsors.